MEISCE: Shipwrecked in a Bottle: CD

This is perfectly all right Irish-influenced folk punk that basically sounds like Rum Sodomy and the Lash. I just get the feeling that the genre of Irish-influenced punk bands is pretty over-saturated and drowning in cliché at this point. It feels like the formula for writing these records is to make eighty percent of the songs about drinking, and then a song about working to death or about being heartbroken by a fair lass (and the need to drink because of it). I, for one, really have to question what a band of punk rockers from Seattle would know about the working in an Irish coal mine (see the song “Ghost of the Coal Mine”). It seems that there’s so many other types of folk and traditional music in the world that could be turned into great punk rock that are never touched, that it’s just boring to have another band of Americans sing about how great Ireland and being Irish is. For instance, when was the last time that anyone heard a good norteño or klezmer punk band? I think bands like Gogol Bordello, World/Inferno, and Kultur Shock have the right idea, which is that you should combine traditional and punk influences to make something new and exciting, and not just ape convention and keep rewriting the Pogues’ song book. I guess it’s unfair of me to dump this complaining into Meisce’s review, as the album is fun and all, but at the same time, come on guys, could you really have got more stereotypical than writing a song about the drunkest man in 1819 Ireland?

 –Adrian (Fistolo)